A roundup of local and international news.
Election bill. A bill on the return to a two-round system for the
election of mayors, which the Liberal government aims to pass through
collective responsibility, will most likely be submitted to Parliament on
Monday, Liberal Party sources have said. President Klaus Iohannis says he plans
to summon the two chambers for an extraordinary meeting as soon as the bill
reaches Parliament, to allow prime minister Ludovic Orban to present the bill
as soon as possible. The latter says his cabinet has resorted to the collective
responsibility procedure because the Social Democratic Party in opposition has
blocked the amendment of the election law in a parliamentary committee. The
Social Democrats' interim leader Marcel Ciolacu says his party will file a
no-confidence motion together with the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in
Romania as soon as the government presents the new bill and proposes the
formation of a national union government until the parliamentary elections next
Holocaust. The Romanian president Klaus Iohannis
will be travelling to Israel from Tuesday until Thursday, the president's
office has announced. He will make this trip in order to attend the 5th
forum of world leaders dedicated to the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust
and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau
concentration camp. The forum, entitled "Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting
Anti-Semitism", will take place on the 23rd of January in Jerusalem.
The participation of the Romanian president in this international forum is part
of the efforts made by the Romanian state to consolidate education about the
Holocaust, preserve the memory of the Holocaust, combat anti-Semitism, racism
and xenophobia and promote European values, tolerance and respect for the
fundamental rights and liberties. On the sidelines of the forum, president
Iohannis will also have a meeting with his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin.
Brussels. On Monday, the
Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu will attend a meeting of the EU
External Affairs Council. Talks will be looking at the situation in the Sahel
region and climate diplomacy. EU foreign ministers will also exchange views on
the stage of the peace process and the general situation in the Middle East. On
Sunday, also in Brussels, the Romanian foreign minister attended the
ministerial meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
Founded in 1998 and based in Berlin, this organisation has 31 member states, 11
observatory states and 7 permanent international partners and acts to consolidate
Holocaust remembrance, research and education worldwide. Romania held the rotating
presidency of this organisation between
March 2016 and March 2017.
Ecumenism. Bucharest is playing host, until next
Saturday, to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, a yearly ecumenical event
bringing together Christians of various denominations. They gather at the
churches of the participating denominations, where the services are held by a
representative of a different denomination. The first prayer was said in
Bucharest at the Roman-Catholic cathedral, and the last will take place on the
25th of January in an Orthodox church. Participating in the Week of
Prayer for Christian Unity are the Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran Evangelical, the
Calvinist Reformed, the Anglican and the Armenian churches.
Film. The feature film Malmkrog by the Romanian director Cristi Puiu, a coproduction from Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Bosnia and North Macedonia, has been selected for the Berlin Film Festival's competitive section Encounters. Now in its 70th year, the festival will take place between the 20th of February and the 1st of March. Cristi Puiu is the winner of several international awards, including the Un Certain Regard award in Cannes for his much celebrated The Death of Mr Lazarescu in 2005 and the Golden Bear for best short film in Berlin for A Carton of Kent and a Packet of Coffee in 2004.
Water polo. The Romanian men's water polo side are facing Greece on
Monday in the play-offs of the European Water Polo Championships under way in
the Hungarian capital Budapest. Romania finished third in Group B after
defeating Russia and losing to The Netherlands and Serbia. Greece finished
second in Group D following two wins, against Georgia and France, and a defeat
at the hands of Italy. In the other play-off matches to determine the
quarterfinalists, Montenegro play Turkey, Germany play Spain and Russia play
Georgia. Italy, Serbia, Hungary and Croatia have won their respective groups
and thus went straight into the quarterfinals.
Youth Olympics. Romania's Georgeta Popescu on Sunday won the gold
medal in the one-woman bobsleigh event at the Youth Olympic Winter Games under
way in Lausanne, Switzerland. This is Romania's second medal at the Games,
after Ramona Ionel's bronze on Wednesday in the mixed team sprint event in
speed skating. 35 Romanian athletes are competing in this third edition of the Youth
Olympic Winter Games in ten of the 16 competitive events.